Michelle Obama Visits Interior Dept.
First lady Michelle Obama continued her tour of federal agencies and departments today at the Interior Department, where she announced that President Obama will soon appoint an adviser to senior White House staff on Native American issues.
The new adviser will "work with tribes and across the government on these issues such as sovereignty, health care and education, all central to the well-being of Native American families and the prosperity of tribes," the first lady said. The position would be subject to the normal staffing process and would be filled in the next few weeks, her aides said.
As she has at her previous stops, Obama once again tied the work of the department she was visiting to the president's economic stimulus proposals. Interior's work on energy, environmental and natural resource issues will "help create thousands of jobs through the Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Plan that Barack is out there promoting today," she said.
Obama also called out several long-serving Interior staffers seated behind her on stage.
“I also want to acknowledge these wonderful workers. Folks who have been in this department longer than I’ve been alive. That is amazing.”
She also acknowledged Interior's recent ethics scandals, saying that “This is an important time of reform and renewal here in this department, and as you begin the hard work of taking this department into a new era of excellence, I wanted to come by again to simply say thank you."
Some reporters covering the event observed that security seemed less strict than normal. The White House pool report of the event described the security check-in process as "lackluster." The Interior Department's on-site security staff did not perform hand inspection of camera bags or coats, nor asked reporters to turn on electronic equipment, as is customary during security checks at such events. Secret Service agents were placed throughout the department's main lobby and the auditorium where the event was held, but did not participate in the security screening process.
Before her remarks, Obama was presented with a lavender-colored Native American shawl and heard a traditional "Honor Song" performed by the Blackbear Singers, a local Native American music group.
Today's was the third stop on a tour that last week took her to the departments of Education and Housing and Urban Development. Aides did not know when she would make her next stop. The tour is partly designed as a “listening tour,” a public thank you to the department's workforce and partly an effort to “rally the troops” as the Obama administration sets priorities. The order of her visits to federal offices is based on her schedule, not policy priorities.
| February 9, 2009; 3:10 PM ET
Categories: Administration, Agencies and Departments, Video Report
Save & Share: Previous: FY-Eye: Astronaut's NASA Spoof
Next: Long-Serving Interior Staff Take Stage With Obama
Posted by: rrau22 | February 9, 2009 4:56 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: teeballou | February 9, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Computer_Forensics_Expert_Computer_Expert_Witness | February 9, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: scrivener50 | February 9, 2009 5:17 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: alarico | February 9, 2009 5:35 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: DriveByPoster | February 9, 2009 5:49 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: bs2004 | February 9, 2009 5:53 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: rush_n_crush | February 9, 2009 6:14 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: CARealist | February 9, 2009 6:26 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: madeaderick | February 9, 2009 6:30 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: halhassin | February 9, 2009 7:10 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: vgailitis | February 9, 2009 7:17 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: vegasgirl1 | February 9, 2009 7:21 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: jjtrezzmonterreymx | February 9, 2009 7:26 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: crowne2 | February 9, 2009 7:39 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: westcan | February 10, 2009 9:35 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: oldmagnolia | February 10, 2009 9:53 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: greenjujubee1 | February 14, 2009 6:45 PM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.